Friday, 10 August 2012

X-Men #54-#57: the Second Summers Brother

X-Men #54 openly hangs a lampshade on the idea that Scott has been secretly keeping his kid brother Alexander 'Alex' Summers from us and from the X-Men. He's just graduated (from college), and is a latent mutant too, and we get our first indication that this gives him some general physiological enhancements beyond his special powers.

He is attacked by minions of the the phoney Pharaoh (really an archaeology Professor named Abdol) at his graduation. The logic behind this is initially quite simple: Pharaoh has realised he is a mutant, and is eliminating a rival. When the X-Men step in to rescue Alex, he decides they should die as well. In the aftermath of the fight, Cyclops (in costume) casually reveals himself to Alex as being his brother. The dialogue here is worth quoting in its entirety:

  (in disguise as Cyclops)
We'll get them, chum.  But first - I'm going
to burn those chains off my brother's wrists.

B-b-brother?  Did you say - brother?

I mean like - wow!

We gain the pristine impression that you two
should be left alone to discuss a few things.
See you back at headquarters, Cyke.

I guess you're right, Beast.  We won't be
  (to Alex)

It's funny, Alex - here I've been waiting all
these years to be able to level with you and
and now - I don't know where to begin.

I've got a dandy notion.  Why don't you try
beginning at the beginning?

Okay - but it's the craziest darn thing!
Suddenly I'm shy about this and -

What's the matter?  You afraid I'm going
to be ashamed of being the kid brother 
of the leader of the X-Men?

Cyclops or Scott - you're still the greatest.

This is a fairly positive reaction to a close family member coming out, something we've missed so far in the various origins. In #55, further fighting has the result that Alex demonstrates his power - of general blasting. They manage to get the bad guy sorted out (by now with a power upgrade and calling himself the Living Monolith), but poor Alex is now terrified of what he has become, and has run away. Which is the worst possible moment to be attacked by a Sentinel...

The X-Men return to New York to find Lorna missing (we know that she's encountered a Sentinel too), and a new Federal Council on Mutant Activities founded by Judge Chalmers, assisted by Larry Trask, the son of Bolivar Trask the creator of the Sentinels...

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